RIDE THE CAROUSEL FOR 25 CENTS! No, that is not a price from yesteryear but the price today for a ride on the Kit Carson County Carousel in Burlington, Colorado which is located just off Interstate 70 on the Colorado/Kansas border.
Although there were nearly 4,000 wooden carousels carved in the U.S. between 1885 and 1930, there are fewer than 150 still in existence. The one in Burlington is a magnificent example of the menegerie carousel which includes other animals in addition to horses.
There are 46 hand-carved animals mounted on a 45-foot diameter platform. The largest animals are on the outside row, each with intricate carvings ranging from a giraffe with a snake twined around its neck to a armed gnome perched behind the saddle of a zebra!
This carousel was manufactured in 1905 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC). Carousels made by PTC are identified by numbers in the order they were made. Therefore, the one in Burlington is identified as the PTC No. 6 which indicates that it was the sixth (of 74) manufactured.
The PTC No. 6 is a 3-row ride and the animals do not move up and down. Currently housed in a 12-sided wooden building, this 100+ year old carousel has been completely restored and still has original paint on both the cotton muslin scenery panels and on the animals.
The PTC No. 6 was originally run by the 1902 General Electric Induction Motor. Amazingly this motor has never been rebuilt and still powers the carousel on special occasions at more than 10-12 miles per hour! The average carousel has a speed of 8 mph.
The PTC No. 6 was designated a National Historic Site in 1979, then designed a National Historic Landmark in l987, and is the only one in Colorado that you can ride!
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